TikTok Mysteries The Internet Wasn't Prepared For
Let's investigate some TikTok mysteries the internet wasn't prepared for!Mysteries
At first glance, TikTok appears to be an app for viral trends, video memes, and countless dances. But it turns out, as you scroll through your ‘for you page,’ you might accidentally scroll too far, discovering the terrifying mysteries that lie beneath TikTok’s surface.
From possessed planes to robotic royals, let’s investigate and attempt to solve some baffling TikTok mysteries that the internet wasn’t prepared for!
NYC Hidden Apartment
In 2021, a New Yorker called Samantha Hartsoe uncovered a very unnerving mystery in her Big Apple apartment. It all began when Samantha realized she could feel a draft coming from her bathroom, a light breeze blowing straight through the mirror.
A vent perhaps? Or some faulty insulation? Samantha wishes. Everybody in New York wants a bigger apartment, but Samantha’s was hiding an entire extra room, hidden behind her mirror.
Most people would probably call their landlord or the cops as quickly as possible, but New Yorkers aren’t the type to back down. Instead, Samantha grabbed a hammer for protection and climbed through the hole, discovering that the secret room was actually an entire second apartment.
She found a lot of dirt, dust, and signs that somebody had been living there, finding trash bags, opened boxes, and a bottle of water - at least the monster in the wall’s staying hydrated. Luckily, Samantha didn’t find a squatter, and was able to climb out of the hidey-hole and seal it back up.
The next update came almost a year later in March 2022. Apparently, Samantha’s landlord ignored her calls for several months, before explaining that the hidden room was just another apartment under construction. However, Samantha noted that she never heard any construction noises coming from next door, even though the apartments were directly connected through the mirror hole.
The landlord also refused to explain why there was a hole between the two apartments. Samantha’s calls for more information were ignored, and one day, she found that a wall had been secretly built on the other side of the mirror hole.
Samantha’s apartment was finally sealed and safe, however, the mystery of why the mirror-hole was there was never truly solved. They say that New York is the city that never sleeps, and even the slight possibility of someone living just beyond an easily accessible secret entryway to my apartment has given me a few sleepless nights.
What would you do if you saw a creepy stranger, pacing around the edge of your property every day? Call the cops? Buy a weapon? Or would you just film him and upload him onto TikTok?
That’s what family TikToker ‘BetssnAngel’ did back in 2020, when she saw the same, mysterious figure pacing back and forth on the outskirts of her property for weeks. The man aimlessly meandered for hours, barely visible in the shadow of the tree-line.
But, strangest of all, as the TikToker attempted to film him for a better look, he appeared almost glitchy, disappearing and re-appearing as he moved.
Whether or not that was due to poor camera quality, after a few days of the man’s recurring presence, the family’s dog started to freak out at night, running straight to the gate outside and barking like crazy.
With the dog’s barking suggesting the man was also present out there in the dark at night, the family decided to confront the stranger, approaching the man’s daily walking spot to figure out what he was doing. However, for the first time in weeks, he wasn’t there. Regardless, they decided to call out to the man, in case he happened to be lurking.
Their shouts were met with eerie moans, echoing through the woods. The family fled, thoroughly unnerved, but from that point on, they began hearing those same moans every night, right outside their home. These events culminated with the husband running outside with a gun to confront the intruder, but he was unable to find anybody out in the dark.
At this point, the wife uploaded two teary updates, explaining that the wailing sounds were growing worse, resulting in sleepless nights, and the family were planning on upgrading their security system.
Viewers waited anxiously for an update, but the TikTok account never posted again, and the family’s fate is a mystery to this day. It still isn’t clear whether the intruder was a malevolent spirit, a certified creeper, or merely the creation of a family struck bored in the midst of Covid lockdowns.
Either way, the mystery will only ever be solved if the family post another update, assuming that they’re still alive to tell the tale.
Ghost Hunting In A Tesla
With autopilot and built-in video games, Teslas are famous for their hi-tech gadgets and special features. But it turns out, the cars have one special feature that Elon kept quiet: the ability to detect ghosts. Teslas come equipped with a collision-prevention system, the dashboard alerting the driver to vehicles and people around the car.
On Mother’s Day 2022, a fellow called Edgar went to lay flowers on his Mom’s grave, driving his Tesla down to the local cemetery. As Edgar drove past the empty graveyard, his futuristic car felt more horror than sci-fi, as it started to detect invisible humans, walking around him.
After Edgar shared the footage, other netizens started to upload their own examples of the same phenomenon. If these creepy videos are to be believed, then the world is full of environmentally conscience ghosts, who pop out to admire the electric vehicles each time a Tesla drives by.
However, some more cynical netizens soon stepped forward to explain the mystery and debunk the videos, attributing the phenomenon to a flaw with Tesla’s detection system.
Apparently, the gravestones in a cemetery are the right size and shape to be flagged up by the Tesla, the cars mistaking them for a person. In another TikTok uploaded by Edgar, you can see that the Tesla’s detection scanner is actually picking up on a tall floral arrangement it drives past.
This suggests that in many cases, the malicious spirits that terrified millions of TikTok users and Tesla drivers, were really just pretty flowers, gravestones and other vaguely-human-shaped objects.
Let’s move from faulty cars to freaky roads. In 2021 a TikToker called 5hawns discovered something strange in Pennsylvania: a road that had turned into slime.
As the TikToker put his hand against the road, he was able to grab it, lifting it with his fingers. After encountering this intriguing asphalt, 5hawns turned to TikTok to ask what could’ve caused the phenomenon.
Some commenters pointed out that the road looks like it may have melted, and although Pennsylvania isn’t exactly known for its asphalt-melting weather, the truth isn’t far off. Turns out, when a road cracks in the winter, some local governments fill the gaps with a tar-like substance in a process called crack filling.
Crack filling is only a temporary fix to prevent further damage, and when summer rolls back around, the sun occasionally melts the filler into the sticky goo that we see in the TikTok. Not the most practical thing, but it sure looks fun to play with!
They say that all that glitters isn’t gold, and one TikToker proved it, showing that sometimes people glitter too. Back in 2021 TikToker ‘hotlikefiya’ started uploading videos of her brother, asking her fans why his skin and clothes were sparkling like a disco ball.
These sparkles weren’t visible to the naked eye, but after being lit up on a phone camera with the flash on, the teenager started sparkling from head to toe. The confusion lasted for a couple of weeks, until finally, after searching through his room, she uncovered the source of the mystery: a reflective jacket.
These jackets use a material called retroreflective sheeting, a fabric that, when a beam of light hits it directly, reflects it straight back, causing the entire jacket to burst with light.
The angelic illusion captured on TikTok was caused after hotlikefiya’s brother put all of his clothes through the wash with a reflective jacket, the retroreflective material rubbing off onto the other clothes. The flecks of shiny material got everywhere, and unless the kid wants to go on looking like Elton John, he might have to invest in a whole new wardrobe.
Great Britain, the land of tea, crumpets, and the Royal Family. To some people, King Charles is just an old man with big ears. To others, he’s a lizard person in disguise, ruling the world with a reptilian fist.
These claims are obviously ridiculous. The royal family aren’t lizards! They’re robots - at least, they certainly look like it in the clip below.
When these videos of prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared online, TikTokers started to theorize that the royal couple were a couple of androids, noting their dead eyes and plastic-looking skin.
Some netizens genuinely believed that the TikToks were proof that the royal family were cyborgs, keeping their eyes peeled for loose wires, and scanning the internet for footage of King Charles doing the robot.
It turns out, the explanation behind the mystery doesn’t come from the deep-state, it comes from Madame Tussauds. In case you didn’t know, Madame Tussauds are a chain of wax-work museums around the world, known for their displays of celebrities and historical figures.
The robotic royals in the clips are a new Madame Tussauds exhibition called ‘live figures,’ where paid actors don hyper-realistic masks that will allow fans to “meet” their favorite celebrities in person.
While the trial run with Meghan and Harry got a lot of publicity, when the ‘live figures’ exhibit expands to more celebrities, I imagine most people will be too terrified to go see them, judging by how creepy the trial versions are. In fact, it would’ve been arguably less creepy if the royal family had actually turned out to be real robots.
The Hanger Challenge
Mad Scientists are a staple of classic horror films, and back in 2020, thousands of TikTokers took part in a crazy science experiment of their own. This experiment left them looking a little crazy, requiring them to put clothing hangers on their heads.
Dubbed ‘the hanger challenge,’ TikTokers discovered that if you put a clothing hanger on your head, it causes your neck to automatically rotate to the side. This head-turning movement looks like TikTok mind control, but it turns out, this ‘hanger reflex’ is a phenomenon that’s been documented since the 90s.
In fact, a study in 2015 found that 95.8% of participants unconsciously turned their heads when they placed hangers over their temples.
Scientists aren’t totally sure why this happens, but they theorize that the phenomenon may be caused by friction between the hanger and your skin, as the tight hanger pulls the skin on your forehead to one side, subtly encouraging you to turn to release the pressure.
This hypothesis makes sense, but some skeptical TikTokers doubt the whole thing, showing their heads resisting the hangers every time.
Back in the day, adventurers would set sail on grand voyages, traveling to the deepest, darkest corners of the globe to uncover new mysteries. Today we have Google Earth, technology that makes Christopher Columbus look like a real try-hard.
TikToker ‘hidden on google earth,’ solely uses the app to uncover Earth’s hidden mysteries, and back in 2021, they stumbled across something strange in the Nevadan desert.
Thousands of terrified netizens took to the comments, attributing the strange location to aliens, ghosts, or some kind of satanic cult. That was, until somebody in the comments came along to ruin the fun.
It turns out, this location is actually the Goldwell Open Air Museum, an outdoor, ghost-town sculpture park near the Death Valley desert. The ghostly figures are examples of artwork by Albert Szukalski, the sculptor creating a ghostly rendition of a spirit on a bike and Jesus’ last supper.
This artwork is pretty haunting, but if the TikToker had explored the location a bit further, it would’ve been clear that Goldwell isn’t all about ghosts and ghouls, the location boasting some decidedly less scary artwork. But if you want to stick with the much more fun alien and ghosts theory, I won’t stop you.
From one explorer to another, back in 2020, a TikToker called Brenden started uploading videos of himself exploring creepy abandoned buildings. Everything was going well until Brenden uploaded a TikTok of himself lost in an underground tunnel, explaining to his followers that he couldn’t find his way out.
Unnerved followers began asking Brenden if he needed help, but he didn’t respond, simply uploading more videos over the next few days. It looked like Brenden had finally made it out of the tunnel, finding himself in a series of abandoned churches, factories and hospitals.
As he walked around these buildings, his video captions grew more cryptic, featuring variations of the words ‘where am I,’ ‘wake up,’ ‘help’ and ‘run.’ He claimed that he could hear voices whispering to him, and in one video he filmed a wall panel with the words ‘let me out’ scrawled across it.
Whatever lurked behind the panel was never revealed, but at this point, Brenden’s audience was getting freaked out. The TikToks became more and more frantic until Brenden posted a final video, explaining that it was time for him to ‘wake up’ and rejoin the real world.
Brenden’s fans held their breath, waiting 10 days for his next upload, and the clip below is what they got.
While that strange vid could’ve been interpreted either as a joke, or as a sign that Brenden had suffered some kind of breakdown or an impromptu lobotomy, the joke interpretation ultimately proved to be the truth.
As Brenden’s TikTok started uploading surreal comedy videos and vlog-style jokes, it became clear that the previous videos were all part of an Alternate Reality Game, a type of interactive storytelling that allows internet users to tell a fictional story presented as reality.
Looking back, it was pretty obvious. After all, how would Brenden have charged his phone while lost in the tunnels? And if he could access the internet to upload onto TikTok, he obviously could’ve used GPS maps to find his way out.
This reveal showed that Brenden hadn’t lost his mind, and his 90 thousand worried followers could finally sleep at night, escaping nightmares of abandoned churches and two haunting words: ‘Wake up.’
Sometimes, a mystery can appear when you least expect it. Like a gentle breeze from your bathroom mirror, a stranger in the woods, or a harmless tube of lip gloss, tucked at the bottom of your makeup bag.
That incredible TikTok from Brina85 wasn’t filmed in outer-space, or the upside down, and Brina isn’t the only TikToker who’s observed the phenomenon.
These crazy cosmetics left a lot of netizens scratching their heads, but luckily, YouTuber Steve Mould was on the case, analyzing the videos to figure out the answer behind the mystery. He discovered that the solution was rooted in science, not sci-fi, the phenomenon being simply caused by static electricity.
When an object has a negative static charged, it’s drawn to positively charged objects, like your positively charged hair lifting towards a negatively charged balloon after you rub it on your head. Just like a magnet, something that’s negatively charged will also repel other negatively charged things.
A person’s skin can become statically charged through friction, for example, rubbing your feet across a carpet. And, in all likelihood, Brina’s skin had a high static charge when she picked up the lip gloss, transferring some of her charge onto it.
When Brina pulled the applicator out of its container, the long strand of lip gloss on the end of the stick became charged, causing the molecules to repel each other. This caused a strand of makeup to be propelled into the air, the force being enough to briefly overcome gravity while the gloss globules were pushed away from the other charged globs.
This simple science trick finally explains Brina’s creepy cosmetics, and it also proves that you don’t need rocket science to feel like you’re doing makeup on the moon.
During the lockdowns of 2020, we were all looking for a reason to get out of the house, so it isn’t any surprise that netizens started downloading the Randonautica app. It promises users adventure, generating random coordinates on a map in the user’s general area for the user to seek out.
Before embarking on your trip, you input a keyword for the type of thing you want to find on your journey, and, claiming to utilize pseudoscientific principals like the Law of Attraction, the app will deliver what you seek in some form or other.
For example, one user on reddit asked the app to show them ‘love,’ and Randonautica’s map led them to a location where they discovered two lip-locked gnomes outside someone’s house.
The coordinates generated by Randonautica are indeed completely random, so the app leading people to their intentions seems purely coincidental, depending on your beliefs. However, there are several cases of Randonautica journeys leading users to some unsettling locations.
TikToker gothboithrift’s trip led him and his friend straight to the entrance of a graveyard, before taking them to a specific pair of graves that bore the TikToker’s surname.
As gothboithrift googled the names on the gravestones, he discovered that they belonged to two of his distant relatives.
Similarly, other TikTokers discovered sinister mannequins, coffins, and threatening figures.
Whatever was wrong with the angry-looking individual discovered in the clip above, the fact that the keyword the user had inputted to the app was ‘evil’, made the whole stitch so much creepier. Creepiest of all, Randonautica made the news in 2020 after leading a different group of teenagers straight to an undiscovered dead body.
Despite all this, Randonautica isn’t quite as terrifying as it seems. When you look at the code behind Randonautica, it truly is just a random number generator, and the vast majority of users find nothing, ending up in boring, empty fields.
It’s also worth noting that even when Randonauts do find something that matches their intentions, the links are often pretty tenuous. Take the romantic redditor who found the gnomes, for instance.
Some people believe that finds like this are a case of confirmation bias. If you enter almost any location searching for something that symbolizes something as vague and open-ended as ‘love,’ or ‘evil’, you’re pretty likely to find something fitting the bill in the general area.
For every 1 redditor who finds a coffin, there are literally thousands who find nothing. That being said, some of these finds do remain pretty darn creepy, and if people keep stumbling across crime scenes, I’m not going to download it anytime soon.
A Motherly Mystery
Understandably, a new mother’s body goes through a lot of changes during and after pregnancy and childbirth. TikToks and images from one young mother in particular went viral online in 2020 after her body started going through some mysterious, asymmetrical changes.
The TikToker was pretty concerned, but luckily, she wasn’t the only mother experiencing the mysterious problem.
The TikToker found a lopsided ally in Abbie Herbert, a family influencer with millions of followers. When Abbie started breastfeeding her newborn, the baby was a fussy eater, only feeding from the right side, leading this.
It turns out when a baby only feeds from one side, the mother’s body starts oversupplying that side with milk while producing far less on the other. When Abbie asked her millions of followers if the phenomenon was normal, hundreds of moms flooded to the comments to explain that they’d suffered similar changes.
The mystery was solved, and Abbie was eventually able to equal out her milk production and return to a more even distribution.
BookTokers Whodunnit Mystery
BookTokers are TikTokers who are all about the written word, their content generally centering around book reviews and recommendations. Most of the mystery in a BookToker’s life comes from detective novels and horror stories.
However, back in 2021, 25 BookTokers found themselves confronted with a real-life riddle, each one receiving a mysterious package in the mail. Each package contained a never-before-seen book titled ‘A Broken Blade,’ written by an anonymous author. They also received a wax-sealed letter, and a cipher, the author tasking the Booktokers with uncovering their identity.
As you can imagine, BookTokers are pretty good at reading in-between the lines, and they soon began making progress decoding the cipher’s nonsensical letters and numbers.
As they tried to decode the sentence, the anonymous author started posting clues on TikTok, posting images with certain letters capitalized. With these clues, the team of Booktokers were finally able to solve the cipher.
The BookTokers had finally beat the challenge! The completed sentence was: ‘this book was written by Melissa Blair, miigwetch for playing along.’ Meanwhile, the word ‘Miigwetch’ means thank you in Ojibwe, a language used by several groups of indigenous people in North America.
Suitably, Melissa Blair is an indigenous Canadian BookToker turned writer, ‘A Broken Blade’ marking her first ever novel. And, with her impressive, attention-grabbing publicity stunt completed, A Broken Blade could be released to the public with Melissa’s name on the cover.
The BookTok mystery received so much publicity, Melissa signed a multi-book deal with publishers Union Square & co.
Considering Melissa’s career was jump-started by a combo of her own ingenuity and her fellow BookTokers’ commitment to mysteries, she can truly say miigwetch to TikTok for her emerging success!
If you were amazed at these TikTok mysteries, you might want to read part 2 of this series. Thanks for reading!